We previewed the MLB Draft and what we expected out of it, but 30 rounds down now, we'll take a look at where UCLA players and signees went in the draft and what the odds are that they sign. There are still 20 rounds left in the draft, but it is highly, highly unlikely that any UCLA signees or players drafted today will sign unless they are a senior so we can breakdown the draft now.
The signing deadline is August 17 so all players must sign by that date or wait until the 2010 MLB Draft, if they are juniors, or until the 2012 MLB Draft, if they are incoming freshmen. For the first five rounds, MLB recommends how much money the club pay in signing bonus money for each slot. While teams can go over that number, in most cases teams try to stay close to that number. There are cases of teams paying well above slot though.
Casey Haerther, 1B/3B- Haerther was the first Bruin drafted, going #171 overall to the Angels with the last pick of the fifth round. Haerther, whose brother is in the Cardinals' organization, is ready for pro ball and should get a solid sized bonus. There is a very, very small chance that he returns in 2010.
Gavin Brooks, LHP- Brooks was drafted in the ninth round by the Yankees with the 285th pick. While Brooks could really boost his stock and become a top five round guy if he were to return and have a strong year, there's a good chance that he signs with the Yanks.
Charles Brewer, RHP- Brewer was born and raised in Arizona so I'm sure he was pleased to be selected by the Diamondbacks. Brewer went in the 12th round, #366, and in this type of situation, the player asks for a decent bonus, but nothing outrageous. If they get that bonus, which is a reasonable number, they will sign, but if the club tries to lowball them, they end up back in school.
Brendan Lafferty, LHP- The 18th round pick and #542 overall to the Royals, Lafferty will get a chance to make it in the pros despite a disappointing final season at UCLA. He is a senior with no eligibility left, but he's a lanky lefty who has shown some good stuff at times so he may be able to get it done in the pros.
Cody Decker, 1B- Like Lafferty he's a senior and has no eligibility left so he's going to sign no matter what, but the 22nd round draft pick of the Padres, #654, is one of my favorite players to come through the program so I'm going to keep mentioning him.
Gabe Cohen, OF- The final Bruin to go on Wednesday was Cohen, who was drafted in the 29th round by the Rays, #889. I don't have any specific information on Cohen's thoughts about signing or not, but common sense would dictate that he has a lot to gain by returning to UCLA so that may be his best move.
Trayce Thompson, OF- The White Sox jumped on Thompson rather early, taking him with their second round pick, #61. This is a pure potential pick, but boy does Thompson have a lot of potential. It's highly doubtful that Thompson doesn't sign and come to UCLA because he's a second round pick who can demand a bonus over $500,000 and could get over slot for hundreds of thousands more. He's stated in an interview that he is leaning towards pro ball.
Max Stassi, C- The surprise of the draft to many by dropping so far, Stassi might actually make it to campus. Various reports have him asking for a $1.5 million signing bonus, which is very reasonable for a first round pick, which he was expected to be. Stassi dropped all the way to the A's in the fourt round at #123 though. The slot for that pick is $237,000 so if Stassi sticks to his demand or anything close to it, Oakland will have to go well over slot to keep the catcher from UCLA.
David Nick, SS- Three picks after the A's took Stassi, the Diamondbacks took Nick. As the 126th pick, Nick would slot in for $228,000. I haven't heard word on what Nick is looking for, but I heard from a couple people that they expect him to sign.
Scott Griggs, RHP- Here's a guy with talent that would fit in the 5-10 round range, but has yet to be drafted because he's made it clear that it would take huge money to keep him from school. Welcome to UCLA, Scott!
This draft didn't go too badly for the Bruins and could be considered a great draft for the program. Losing Thompson will hurt because the Bruins offered him and got him to commit while he was still splitting time with basketball so he wasn't as widely sought after, but he was expected to sign for a couple months now. Stassi dropping could keep him from signing and would be a major coup for UCLA that nobody expected, while Nick will be a loss if he signs, but at least he plays a position the Bruins are semi-strong at. Seeing Haerther go fifth round is good for a guy that was likely to sign wherever he was picked and seeing Decker go as high as he did was fantastic. Lafferty is a senior so no loss there and 18th round is good for him. Losing Cohen would hurt, but can be overcome and he may not sign anyways. Brooks and Brewer will be the ones to really keep an eye on as they are probably leaning sign, but could make it back to campus next year.